Summer waits out tax delinquents

One of every eight owners of cars registered in Wilton is delinquent in paying their tax bill.

With a couple of weeks left on the month of August, after which additional interest penalties of 1.5% per month will be applied to the overdue taxes, 2,040 motor vehicle bills were delinquent out of a total 16,454 bills sent out for July 1, said Tax Collector Phil Damato.

The total value of the delinquent tax bills is $520,000, compared to the total motor vehicle tax value of $5.4 million.

It’s not unusual for this kind of delinquency in the summer months, Damato said. Reasons can vary.

“It’s basically normally because people are on vacation and they forget,” he said. “They have different reasons they tell you, that they forgot or something. They always seem to have some excuse.”

Other possible reasons are that the person has moved or no longer owns the vehicle and has not had it removed from the tax rolls. When Connecticut residents move out of state, they must register cars in the new state within 30 days to avoid receiving a tax bill.

For fiscal year 2016, Damato reported $304,000 in uncollected taxes.

The delinquencies extend to other taxes, too. In real estate tax, for homes and condominiums, 229 of 6,443 bills are delinquent, representing a value of $1.4 million out of a total $52.9 million.

In personal property taxes, which include the equipment owned by businesses such as computers and copying machines, 251 of 1,345 bills are delinquent, representing $58,000 worth of the total $2.7 million in taxes.

Damato takes the delinquencies in stride. He knows the money will be coming around. By the end of the fiscal year, Wilton’s tax collection rate is generally around 99%.

“I don’t think there’s a town in the state that doesn’t have delinquencies,” Damato said.